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Fan Polls: Upset of the Year

24
Dec

UPSET OF THE YEAR VOTING RESULTS

Manny Pacquiao KO8 Oscar De La Hoya: 68 percent
Bernard Hopkins W12 Kelly Pavlik: 23 percent
Carlos Quintana W12 Paul Williams: 7 percent
Timothy Bradley W12 Junior Witter: 1 percent

Today’s poll: Event of the Year
To vote, go to yahoo.com/sports, then click on boxing

Manny Pacquiao was too small for Oscar De La Hoya.

C’mon, he weighed in for his first pro fight at 106 pounds and had fought only once at 135 pounds. How the heck was he going to move up to 147 and withstand the punches of a guy who fought at high as middleweight? Some were appalled at the match up.

Well, the dynamo from the Philippines had a big surprise for a lot of people on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, dazzling onlookers and baffling De La Hoya with his ever-improving skills and remarkable speed from beginning to end.

After eight rounds, with De La Hoya’s left eye swollen shut and his fighting spirit crushed, the sport’s biggest star had had enough. Pacquiao had turned in one of the greatest upsets of recent years and solidified his place atop the pound-for-pound rankings, making him the best fighter in the world at any weight.

“We have to give all the credit in the world to Manny for the performance he pulled off,” his promoter, Bob Arum, said at the post-fight news conference. “It was really unique; it was historic; it was great.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, who once worked with De La Hoya, predicted it all along. He said when the fight was made that Pacquiao had the style to beat the bigger man and was just too quick for him.

And that’s what played out in the ring: Pacquiao scored at will and De La Hoya could never answer.

Now, it’s important to point out that De La Hoya might’ve helped Pacquiao’s cause with a goofy diet that had him on weight more than a month before the fight. He seemed gaunt and sapped of energy when he walked into the ring.

And both his age (35) and 30 years of boxing probably had taken a toll. Clearly, going into the fight, he wasn’t the De La Hoya of old.

All that said, though, no one can take away from what Pacquiao did. Never has a fighter prepared better for a fight or executed a game plan better than he that night. Simply put: He was magnificent.

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